Motherhood is such a whirlwind. Your entire life revolves around you and a significant other (maybe). Then a few magically painful hours pass and everything, and I mean everything is different! Showers are timed, your job is broken up by pumping sessions and even your meals are dictated by the amount of free hands you have. Everything you knew about yourself is suddenly different. This takes a special toll on your talents, your hobbies, and your passions. You suddenly struggle to find the time to do things you love anymore. “Let’s see, read a book? Or shower for the first time in days?” Fast forward to 18 months postpartum (is that still even called postpartum anymore??) and I still found myself struggling to know what I loved to do. My poor photography camera sits collecting dust, broken and neglected (no money for a new one when there’s diapers to be bought!) My kitchen aid mixer stays packed away, alone in the garage. I couldn’t seem to find the time or the ability to continue what I loved with a mischievous toddler underfoot. I was incredibly saddened to think of all the things I used to do “pre-baby” and how none of them seemed possible now. Yet, I know they’re possible, I see tons of moms doing cool things on Instagram! Right??
So I dusted off my bow. (Yes, like the Katniss, archery kind of bow) I loaded the baby in the wagon and we began shooting my bow together. The dog made the baby giggle and I tried to focus on not missing the target. I began to prepare for an archery elk hunt. There were months of frustrating practice and shooting sessions that ended with crying (sometimes from both of us.) Yet we did it! We were going on an elk hunt!! I sat in camp, watching my little guy push his trucks in the dirt and I felt it deep in my soul. “This feels so good.” I even got the chance to take a few pictures again! Maybe only with my phone, but it still was nice to capture nature showing off! THIS is what I missed, this is the me that I lost. Doing things with my family outdoors, exploring, and experiencing nature together. Don’t get me wrong, it was NOT all rainbows and butterflies. Hunting (and camping) looks a lot different than it used to. Thank the Lord above for incredible, patient, generous grandmothers to stay in camp all day. Getting up at 3:30 am to get out in the field is ten times harder when you woke up several times with the baby. Don’t even get me started on all the junk we had to pack in. However, it was so worth it.
There is nothing better than being able to do what you love and show your children, “This is my passion.” I grew up in the woods with my family, conserving wildlife through hunting. Enjoying nature, relishing the time together, and making unforgettable memories. I feel so proud to pass on this legacy to my own children. I feel even more proud to tell my son, “this is what I love to do. This is what makes me feel excited and happy. This is me, and I get to share it with you.”
So this is for all the moms out there who miss what they “used to do.” Don’t forget about it. Don’t give up on your dreams and your passions. Get creative, get resourceful and show your kids what you love to do! Show your kids what makes you, “YOU!”